Inside XR - January 4th, 2019

Inside XR (Jan 4th, 2019)

"David Bowie Is" on yer phone / The "Mad Box" / Niantic rolling in dough

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1. AR experience “David Bowie Is” releases on iOS and Android devices next week, recreating the touring exhibit, which so far has drawn 2 million visitors. The app is composed of 20 different virtual galleries that cover the various stages of Bowie’s career, including 3D models, album art, handwritten music, lyric sheets, music videos, and much more, all narrated by Gary Oldman, who was a close friend to Bowie, according to Next Reality. Early reports are that this experience is truly “magical”—my wife and I being big Bowie fans, I’ll give you the Inside VR/AR take when I get a chance to try it next week. — NEXT REALITY

2. In advance of next week’s CES 2019, Chinese VR company Pico has announced the standalone Pico G2 4K, which updates the company’s Pico G2. The company’s G2 line is designed for enterprise use, which is illustrated by the new features announced with the G2 4K, including a kiosk mode, hands-free controls, and a “hygienic design.” According to VR Focus, the headset will be available in North America during the first half of this year. — VENTUREBEAT

3. Slightly Mad Studios just announced it is working on a VR-compatible gaming console the company is calling Mad Box. After initially announcing the console would deliver 60 fps VR rendering, CEO Ian Bell tweeted that the company decided to target 90 fps instead. Bell said the company expects to launch the console in about 3.5 years, and plans to sell the device for something that would be “competitive with upcoming console prices”... what will VR/AR look like in 3.5 years, I wonder. — ROAD TO VR

4. Niantic has reportedly secured another $190 million in funding, according the Securities and Exchange Commission. The “Pokémon Go” creator has raised more than $415 million to date, according to VentureBeat, and Go made the company $800 million in global revenue last year. Niantic didn’t need this most recent round of funding, VentureBeat asserts, showing that “Niantic’s ambitions are bigger than they seem.” — VENTUREBEAT

5.  NYT's new AR feature invites viewers to interact with and observe the bleeding-edge tech and scientific importance at play in the Large Hadron Collider. — VRSCOUT

6. An "AR wonk" has tinkered his way into an untethered Leap Motion headset. — NEXT REALITY

7. VR content distribution platform DESIRIUM is now available for the Xiamoi Store, in addition to Oculus Go, Samsung VR and Viveport platforms. — VRFOCUS

8. "PT" is a strange sort of digital curiosity, and a fan remake that allows users to visit Lisa in VR only adds to the "game's" strange saga. — POLYGON

9. PSVR users will get a chance to engage in some high-speed flight simulation soon, and though "Ace Combat 7" will launch on PC and XBOX One, the VR content will be exclusive to PSVR. — FORBES

10. Is that what the Oculus Rift will look like to us in 10 years?

"Walking around Barcelona and found this antique 'VR headset'" - @jongranskog

Written and curated by Eric Skalac, who is a hands-on IoT and VR/AR tinkerer, former NPR affiliate news director and eternal learner. He's based in central Illinois where the waves of grain are amber.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

CES 2019 is promising new VR/AR hardware, upgrades, new apps and experiences, and more. Here are the spots I’m keeping an eye on over the next week.

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